Montclair Community Pre-K Opposes Proposed Montclair Charter School

Sunday, Jul 24, 2016 10:40am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Montclair Community Pre-K Opposes Proposed Montclair Charter SchoolThe Montclair Community Pre-K (MCPK) administration and Board of Trustees, in a press release Friday, officially declared its opposition to the application of the Montclair Charter School, previously known as the Fulbright Academy Charter School. The MCPK has taken this action for the following reasons:

Neither the MCPK, nor any of its employees or board members, has had any involvement with the charter school application. The Montclair Charter School application alleges that the proposed charter school will enjoy a “natural relationship” with the MCPK for recruiting students, but there has been no discussion about this — or anything else — between the two groups. Continue Reading

Giveaway: Video Games Live at the Wellmont Theater, 7/23

BY  |  Friday, Jul 22, 2016 3:26pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

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“Video Games Live” is at the Wellmont Theater is tomorrow night-Saturday July 23! Continue Reading

Montclair Schools: We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties, Please Stand By

Friday, Jul 22, 2016 12:10pm  |  COMMENTS (15)

Montclair Schools: We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties, Please Stand ByMontclair Interim Superintendent Ron Bolandi send out this note to parents yesterday, explaining recent technical difficulties and email disruptions the district has had in its attempts this summer to set up new, separate Montclair Public School servers. Bolandi asks parents for patience and says that “inaccurate registration information has been accessible at certain times,” which seems to reference parents who had been able to see what looked liked school assignments on the new Genesis Parent Portal (the new portal replacing Skyward that the district encouraged parents to log into and familiarize themselves with).

Dear Families/Caregivers and Staff:

When the Township and the school district decided to separate the shared web server/network about a year and a half ago, I don’t think anyone realized how complicated that project would be. The decision to set up new Montclair Public School servers was made with the intention that the work was to be completed in July when there was less activity in the district.

The original plan called for the system to be disrupted for approximately two weeks. During that time, we did not receive nor could we send emails and had phone disruptions as well. The project is not going as smoothly as I would have expected, and inaccurate registration information has been accessible at certain times.

As you know, Montclair is under a federal desegregation order, and we have a unique process to place students in our schools. With this process, there are multiple computer runs to balance the schools. Unfortunately, when the system was opened twice, someone could have accessed preliminary registration information.

Several parents were given preliminary information by district personnel. This was not appropriate and likely to be inaccurate. This mistake has been addressed, and I apologize for any confusion.

We hope to have registration and our system conversion completed by the end of next week.

Thank you for your patience during this network transition.

Sincerely,
Ron Bolandi
Interim Superintendent

Weekend Family Highlights: Theater, Film, Music and History

BY  |  Friday, Jul 22, 2016 8:30am  |  COMMENTS (0)

The weekend is here! There are plenty of opportunities to explore and have fun with the family in our local area, and we’ve rounded up some events for you!

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Kick off the weekend with a movie at Riverfront Park (Raymond Blvd, Newark). Catch Zootopia at 8:00 PM. Admission is free.

On Saturday, learn about the history of pollution at Trashy History: Pollution in the 19th Century. Presented by the Morris County Park Commission, this look at the causes of pollution over a hundred years ago and what was done to correct and prevent it, will be held at Historic Speedwell (333 Speedwell Avenue, Morristown) from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Admission is $5 per adult, $4 per senior (65+), $3 per child age 4-16, and free for children under age 4. Continue Reading

Operation Backpack Returns

BY  |  Thursday, Jul 21, 2016 10:30am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Operation BackpackOperation Backpack is a nationwide program run by Volunteers of America that provides school supplies and backpacks to kids in need. This year, Kimya Nilsen is once again leading the effort to collect supplies in the Montclair area, and is seeking donations from families that are able to help. Supply lists are divide by grade level and you can choose whichever you like.

Here is how it works: Continue Reading

Sponsored: What is Coding? (And Why Kids Should Learn It!)

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2016 10:30am

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Yukōdit is an innovative learning center in Montclair, which engages kids in coding, design thinking and entrepreneurship activities. To learn more, parents and children are invited to attend an upcoming Open House Information Session (space is limited): RSVP FOR OPEN HOUSE

While speaking to people in the community about Yukōdit, many have asked: “What is Coding?”

It’s a great question!

Coding (Software development) is the art and science of telling a computer what to do.

Many of you may still be wondering:
(a) what is it that a software developer actually does?
(b) why would I want my kid to learn to code? Continue Reading

Play Pokémon GO This Thursday in Montclair Center And #CatchThemAll

BY  |  Wednesday, Jul 20, 2016 9:45am  |  COMMENTS (0)

We told you all about Pokémon GO. Don’t forget to #catchthemall tomorrow (Thursday, July 21) when Montclair Center will be filled with Pokémon! The Montclair Center BID will bait the various Pokéstops with lures throughout the district to attract as many Pokémon as possible. Level up and catch rare Pokémon as you shop!

Get special offers when you #catchthemall in Montclair Center, Thursday, July 21 from 4-7 pm!! @montclaircenter

A photo posted by Baristanet (@baristanet) on


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Saying Yes To Walking in the Disability Pride Parade

BY  |  Tuesday, Jul 19, 2016 2:49pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

If someone had asked me to walk in a Disability Pride Parade 12 years ago when my son was born with special needs, I would have immediately felt like I was going to be sick. I might have started crying and then would have given a resounding, “not in a million years.”

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Coming to terms with accepting that my child had special needs, let alone blasting it out to the world in a very public way, literally parading him around NYC, was something that seemed unfathomable to me. It basically meant we were different from everyone else, and not in a good way. It meant putting him at risk of being ridiculed. It meant exposing our private lives to strangers who had no business knowing about all of our pain and hardships. It meant feeling alone and isolated. It meant fear and sadness.

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Time does not heal all wounds but I can honestly say that, as cliche as it sounds, the pain becomes less intense. Fortunately, time also allows for many incredible experiences to occur, some organically and some forced, but they happen nonetheless.

For example, you learn to get to know your child as a person and not just as their disability. You get to see how fortunate you are that there are really cool things about your child, like bravery, compassion, empathy, kindness and strength. You also get to see those features in other families whom you are given the opportunity to socialize and depend on for your mental health. You get to realize how phenomenal these families and caretakers are and you eventually get to a point where you can’t even imagine not having the life you have, as hard as it sometimes is.

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So this is why, 12 years later, not only did I say “YES!” when asked if I was going to participate in the Disability Pride Parade, but I truly looked forward to going and was proud to be there. Hanging out with all the people who get their act together every day with all their challenges and still love life and smile? Continue Reading

YMCA of Montclair Dolphins Swim Team to Hold Tryouts for 2016-2017 Season

BY  |  Monday, Jul 18, 2016 3:45pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Summer Sunshine Meet (provided by I Hara)

The YMCA of Montclair Dolphins Swim Team will hold tryouts for its 2016-2017 season.

All tryouts will be held at the YMCA of Montclair’s Park Street Branch, 25 Park Street in Montclair.

The YMCA of Montclair Dolphins swim team offers a year-round opportunity for swimmers ages 6 through high school to participate in both YMCA and USA swimming competitions. More than 200 athletes train with the team each year. They compete at all levels, based on their skill set. Tryout times below: Continue Reading

Proposed Montclair Charter School Changes Name, Files Phase II Application

BY  |  Saturday, Jul 16, 2016 10:01am  |  COMMENTS (43)

The proposed French immersion charter school in Montclair has filed its Phase II application and has also changed its name from Fulbright Academy to Montclair Charter School. The group, headed by co-founder Darryle Bogan (Janelle Anderson is another founder), writes in its letter to Commissioner David Hespe that the name change is to better position the school, described as a STEAM/Dual Lanuguage School (English/French with Spanish as a core) at the center of the community and to follow the example of the Princeton Charter School. Edith Boncompain is identified as a possible principal for the school, she is a former principal of a French-American Charter School in Harlem.

No matter what name the group gives the proposed charter school, vocal Montclair parents have taken to social media to oppose the charter and are encouraging residents to send an opposition letter here.

Superintendent Ronald Bolandi had sent this opposition letter from the district in May, but the charter group has made it to Phase II.

Proposed location for Montclair Charter School at 151 Forest St. Photo: Google Earth.

Proposed location for Montclair Charter School at 151 Forest St. Photo: Google Earth.

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Featured Comment

How many years have I heard these tales of downplaying the re-appraisal game? Most homeowners will see a bump in their property taxes. Start budgeting now. "Winter is coming."

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